Coping with No Sports During Coronavirus

By Janis Meredith | Posted 4/15/2020

It’s hard enough on kids that youth sports have been postponed, but not having any sports on TV adds to their misery. My 29-year-old son grieved when March Madness got canceled. Having NO sports on—other than replays—has left one young sports fanatic feeling very bored.

Perhaps your young athletes are suffering from sports withdrawals, too. While there is nothing that can totally replace the fun of participating in games and watching live sports on TV or in person, there are a few ways to scratch some of their competitive itch.

Have a Family Tournament

Choose a game your family enjoys. It can be a physical game like basketball (if you have a hoop in your driveway) or soccer in the backyard. Or choose your favorite card, board or video game. Construct a family bracket, come up with prizes, set aside a specific time each day for the competition.

Schedule a Workout Each Day.

This time at home offers a perfect opportunity for athletes to work on building strength, endurance, and speed, something they may have little time for in their regularly scheduled lives.

Many online coaches and gyms are offering classes—from yoga to CrossFit to Bootcamp and much more. Do this as a family for 30 minutes a day at least.

Schedule a Skills Workout a Few Times a Week.

Touch base with your child’s coach or research coaches online to get exercises that target specific skills your child may want to strengthen. I remember when my high school daughter wanted to improve her defensive volleyball skills, we’d go outside and hit balls to her.

This is a great way to not only help your child but also to focus on being in the moment with them. It’s easy to assume that just because the whole family is home together, they are focusing on each other. That may be the case in some homes, but many families may be struggling to really connect. Helping your child with their skills development is a great way to be present.

Set and Track Goals.

As you work out and work with your child on their skills, set and keep track of goals. Let’s say they set a goal of doing 30 burpees at a time. Record how long it takes them now and how long it takes them in three weeks. You can apply this to any movement or skill drill.

Someone recently shared with me that the words for crisis and opportunity were very similar in Japanese. While some may focus on the crisis at hand—and it is indeed a crisis—this season actually offers a huge opportunity for athletes to progress in areas they normally may neglect because of a busy schedule.

Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at


It's important to exercise, but that can be hard if you're stuck in the house. USA Football’s 60 Ways to Play Guide is pack full of at-home exercises and workouts for the whole family.